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Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity, and Religion

Identity Politics in America

Edited by Valerie Martinez-Ebers and Manochehr Dorraj

Publication Date - 11 March 2009

ISBN: 9780195381702

272 pages
7 1/2 X 9 1/4 inches

A uniquely personal yet scientifically informed look at the history, current issues, and dynamics of minority groups in the United States.


Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity, and Religion is an introductory anthology that examines the history, current issues, and dynamics of select minority groups in the United States. While other books on these topics usually confine their coverage to African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians, this work also looks at Jewish and Muslim Americans. Another unique feature of this book is that it puts the study of diversity and identity politics in a larger context, thus providing students with a broader perspective on these issues.
Opening with an essay by the editors on change and continuity in the minority group experience, the first section of the book analyzes the effects of globalization on individual, group, and national identity. It goes on to consider the social implications of immigration, common challenges faced by immigrants, and the increasing significance of religious diversity in America. The second section expounds on the historical, legal, and political experiences of each minority group as well as their attitudes and behaviors. Taken together, the selections provide students with the context to evaluate the roles that race, ethnicity, and religion play in the outcomes of American politics. They also show how the structure and operation of our political system sometimes obstruct the efforts of these groups to gain the full benefits of freedom and equal treatment promised under the American Constitution.
Featuring contributions from authors who are not only experts in their fields--which include political science, sociology, history, and religion--but who also belong to the minority groups that they are writing about, Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity, and Religion provides students with a uniquely personal yet scientifically informed look at this significant subject.


"This is a well-constructed volume that provides a multifaceted way to think about the relationship between identity, diversity, and American politics. It covers all of the hot topics and looks forward rather than dwelling in the past."--Mark Sawyer, UCLA

"I would adopt this text for my course and recommend it to colleagues. It's a well-written text by some very highly regarded scholars of minority politics. The chapters paint a vivid picture of the challenges faced by racial, ethnic, and religious minorities in contemporary U.S. politics. Each chapter is carefully researched and integrates the leading scholarship in its field."--Stefanie Chambers, Trinity College

"When I can find a book that my students and I both feel is interesting and easy to read, I know I am holding a unique and excellent work."--Joseph J. Foy, University of Wisconsin-Waukesha

"The author's student-oriented pedagogy is refreshing. . .by personalizing the experience before delving into the theoretical constructs of difference, the students will be more motivated to read the chapters in their entirety."--Terri R. Jett, Butler University

Table of Contents

    Editors and Contributors
    Chapter 1. Introduction: Change and Continuity in the Experiences of Racial, Ethnic and Religious Minorities in America, Valerie Martinez-Ebers, University of North Texas, and Manochehr Dorraj, Texas Christian University
    Part One. The Broader Context for Understanding Minority-Majority Relationships in the United States
    Chapter 2. Globalization and the American Nation, Sheila Croucher, Miami University of Ohio
    Chapter 3. A World Between: Multiple Identities and the Challenges Faced by First-Generation Immigrants, Edwina Barvosa, University of California, Santa Barbara
    Chapter 4. Immigration: Trends, Demographics, and Patterns of Political Incorporation, Jessica Lavariega Monforti, University of Texas, Pan American
    Chapter 5. Bridging the Cultural Divide: Accommodating Religious Diversity, Jocelyn Sage Weiner, Georgetown University, and Clyde Wilcox, Georgetown University
    Part Two. The History and Contemporary Issues and Experiences of Select Minority Groups
    Chapter 6. "Measured Sovereignty:" The Political Experiences of Indigenous Peoples as Nations and Individuals, David Wilkins, University of Minnesota
    Chapter 7. Linked Fates, Disconnected Realities: The Post-Civil Rights African American Politics, Melanye T. Price, Wesleyan University, and Gloria J. Hampton, Ohio State University
    Chapter 8. The Influence of History on the Policy Positions and Partisanship of Hispanics in the United States, Jessica Lavariega Monforti, University of Texas, Pan American, and Lisa Garcia Bedolla, University of California, Irvine
    Chapter 9. Model Minority or Perpetual Foreigner? The Political Experience of Asian Americans, Morrison G. Wong, Texas Christian University
    Chapter 10. Anti-Semitism and the Jewish-American Political Experience, Paul Mendes-Flohr, University of Chicago
    Chapter 11. Islamophobia, the Muslim Stereotype, and the Muslim American Political Experience, Manochehr Dorraj, Texas Christian University
    Chapter 12. Concluding Thoughts on a Changing America, Valerie Martinez-Ebers, University of North Texas, and Manochehr Dorraj, Texas Christian University
    Appendix: Racial-Ethnic Characteristics of the United States, 2005-2006